Apr 6, 2006 at 1:50 pm #1218252
With all the stretchy-techy fabrics and designs that are more athletic cut, and using zippers for ventilation and ease of dressing, it seems that the good ol’ button down shirt takes a lesser place in ultralight apparel.
I like ’em. You can “roller-blind” the sleeves, leave the front fully open, or part way, tails in or out, and layer it up with ease. And they have *pockets* — a place to stick your glasses, a bottle of bug juice, a compass, etc.
I’ve collected a few in my thrift store hunts and have tried Ex Officio, REI, Columbia, and Cabella’s (suspiciously like Ex O’s) shirts. My favorite of the moment is an REI nylon shirt with a cape back with mesh venting. It’s on the order of their “Sahara” pants and shorts.
Of course I don’t have the weight handy, but they aren’t a lot heavier than a windshirt. It would be nice to see some of the manufacturer’s use some of the windshirt fabrics for a more conventional shirt design.
Almost forgot– I have a microfleece button down shirt (a Sportif) that I like a lot too– really warm and being able to roll up the sleeves and open the front is perfect for adjusting temperature and ventilation.
My $0.02Apr 6, 2006 at 2:41 pm #1354278
I never hike in anything BUT technical button down shirts (not cotton)… unless it’s cold. A button down shirt is a whole lot more functional. You can open it right up for ventilation on a hot summer day… and the collar provides sun protection.Apr 6, 2006 at 11:19 pm #1354314
Mark LarsonBPL Member
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
I usually do t-shirts, but the button down can be a nice change. I have some polyester mesh ones, leftovers from the 70s I’m guessing. In addition to good ventilation, other bonuses are taller collars to help block the sun, and they look a bit more respectable in town when you’re on long trips.
-MarkApr 7, 2006 at 12:14 am #1354316
Franco DarioliBPL Member
Another big advantage (for me) with the shirts are the pockets, my compass and binos (strap around my neck) usually go there.
FrancoApr 7, 2006 at 2:35 am #1354325
Non. Nyet. Nein. No. Iye. Bu.
Smartwool zip-t or crew base layer. For me it works. Some items are either clipped (min-biners) or bungeed to pack straps, or carried in 9-pocket trail cargo pants.
If the inexpensive Ex-O Buzz-Off hat, I bought works, I may try an Ex-Officio Buzz-Off shirt this Spring and Summer. [yes, I know it uses Permethrins. hey,…what can I say? I’m learning – my thanks to those who took the time to educate me.]Apr 7, 2006 at 5:11 am #1354328
I get really really hot when I hike… so I need the button down. I could never get the kind of ventilation I want / need with a crew or a zip-t… but that’s just me. If there is not a lot of trail traffic… I will often open the shirt up completely. I also sometime will hook things thru the button holes too. (like the string from my hat). I should mention that the shirts I’m wearing are made from technical wicking fabrics… they’re not normal cotton shirts.Apr 7, 2006 at 7:55 am #1354334
I’m with Paul on this one. The Zip-T works great. The temperature range of wool is amazing. I wear Ibex wool polo shirts throughout the summer as my every day wear. I hike in Zip-Ts because of their versatility. I just ordered a Smartwool Shadow’s Hoody that I hope will replace the Zip-T because it is even more versatile.
When it is hot you are going to sweat no matter what you are or aren’t wearing. I have found that the form fitting wool is as cool as the TNF Summit Shirt (Nylon button down with lots of ventilation) I used to wear. Evaporative cooling happens in both cases. The Zip-T tends to draw it out longer than the nylon shirt, where the nylon shirt is more breezy. One major difference was the smell of the Zip-T versus the smell of the nylon shirt after a few days. You can’t beat the stink resistance of wool.
Most people think of wool when it is cold. I was the same way. I used to use my Summit shirt during the day and change into my Zip-T in the evening. Now I just wear the Zip-T all the time and don’t bring the Summit shirt. I live in Colorado and do most of my hiking there, but also wore wool successfully in Costa Rica.Apr 7, 2006 at 8:50 am #1354338
Maybe someone should make a button down from wool. That might be cool. I just like the ability to open my shirt up completely.Apr 7, 2006 at 8:52 am #1354339
Merino Wool shirt with full-frontal Zip.Apr 7, 2006 at 11:16 am #1354350
This used to be my standard hiking shirt. But I weighed my supplex shirts and discovered they weigh 12 ounces. I now use a modified zip-T polyester base layer modded with 14″ pit zips (7-8oz), and a 4 oz hoodless windshirt with pitzips for the same combined weight as the shirt. Silnylon pockets on the pack straps and waistbelt replace the pockets on the shirt. This combo gives me more comfort range and utility than the button down shirt. And I save weight because I used to carry the zip-T with the supplex buttoned shirt. For desert hiking the base layer is white, and my cap has a sun cape that obviates the need for a tall collar. Pit zips keep the base layer from getting stinky as fast also. The button down shirt looks better though.Apr 7, 2006 at 11:45 am #1354352
David Lewis said, “Maybe someone should make a button down from wool. That might be cool. I just like the ability to open my shirt up completely.”
I hope that wasn’t serious— they’ve been doing that since the early 19th Century :) Like LL Bean and Pendelton.
[Maine accent] Can’t stand wool, no-siree. Makes me itch like an old bear, a-yup.Apr 7, 2006 at 11:49 am #1354353
Neil Bender said, “This used to be my standard hiking shirt. But I weighed my supplex shirts and discovered they weigh 12 ounces.”
Yes, that is the crux of it and much of the clothing choices for getting the ounces down. There’s the good ol’ comfortable and cheap and then the uberlight-techno-stretcho-zippo-velcro-spendo models. Sigh… compromise, compromise….Apr 7, 2006 at 12:21 pm #1354355
Dale: I was serious… but with the thought in mind that these zip-t wool shirts people are talking about a much more “advanced” and a whole lot lighter than your typical wool shirt from the 19th century :)
Paul: Thanks for the full zip tip… I’ll check it out.Apr 7, 2006 at 1:08 pm #1354358
Check out http://www.ibexwear.com. Ibex has the Shak Full Zip Jersey and the BBQ Shirt. I think the Shaks fabric might be too heavy. If the BBQ shirt were long sleeve it might be ideal.
Many years ago I wore Pendelton shirts. They were itchy and heavy. Definitely not merino wool.
I just noticed the Amparo L/S Jersey under the cycling section. I think that is lighter than the Shak.Apr 7, 2006 at 2:03 pm #1354360
David, My apologies. I’m not sure that there is anything to check out. I was merely making a suggestion of what might combine both of our preferences. There might be one out there, but I personally don’t know of one. If you do find one though, I’d appreciate knowing about it.Apr 8, 2006 at 10:10 am #1354416
I think our posts may have crossed in the ether. In case you missed it, check out my previous post.
p.s. I appreciate all I have learned from you over my time here.Apr 8, 2006 at 10:51 am #1354418
Thanks. I’ll take a look at your previous post.Apr 8, 2006 at 10:59 am #1354419
@jasonklassLocale: Parker, CO
Thanks for the idea. I have a bunch of Colombia and Ex Officio shirts like that from my days as a fly fishing guide. It never even occured to me to use them for backpacking (slapping myself on the forehead)! I’m going to start using them.Apr 8, 2006 at 4:00 pm #1354425
A long-sleeved, button-down shirt is essential attire–on the trail, at home, or in the office. For all three I like supplex (my Cabella’s has five pockets and plenty of ventilation) and microfleece. For home and office I also like chamois–albeit heavy, great fabric but won’t cut it for outdoor activities in the Pacific NW. I learned at a young age that these shirts were much more functional–you can always roll up the sleeves, button up when chilly, or unbutton when hot. Any extra weight is worth it–these kinds of shirts are a second skin I’m not willing to part with.Apr 10, 2006 at 12:17 pm #1354565
toccs rerennihcsBPL Member
@dremboLocale: western slope Sierra Nevada
I have been considering using a button shirt as of late, however, I am wondering about the functionality of it as part of a layering system. If it started to get cold, you would have to take the shirt off to put on a base layer, as opposed to just putting the next layer on if you were just wearing a zip t-shirt or whatever.Apr 10, 2006 at 12:34 pm #1354569
@jagcLocale: Pacific NW
I use a Mountain Hardware Canyon Shirt (button-down) as my base layer. I then layer a Marmot Precip over that.
I then add a Patagonia Micropuff jacket if I need more insulation.
For heavy rain, I use an Integral Designs poncho over the Marmot Precip.
So no, you don’t have to unbutton and take off the shirt to layer.Apr 10, 2006 at 1:06 pm #1354571
drembo wrote: ” am wondering about the functionality of it as part of a layering system. If it started to get cold, you would have to take the shirt off to put on a base layer”
I was thinking of them more like a wind shirt– protection from a chilly breeze and room for some layering under. Summertime, with a light thin one it is bug and sun protection and can be worn comfortably on the skin or with another layer. Weight wise they come out a few ounces more than a wind shirt. Taking it on and off wouldn’t amount to much.
I think a lot of UL clothing options change with the length of the trip. You can get away with a lot more on an overnighter or 3day/2night long weekender than you can with a high mileage thru-hike. That assumes taking a more recreational journey rather than a couple 40 mile days– then you are back in Spartan Mode.Oct 19, 2010 at 8:15 am #1655899
drembo wrote: " am wondering about the functionality of it as part of a layering system. If it started to get cold, you would have to take the shirt off to put on a base layer"
…add a gloves, hat, then a down vest as it starts to get cold. I don't normally carry any base layers other than a synthetic button down as the wind resistance of the shirt is enough to keep me comfortable down into vest temperatures. Button down + vest + propore jacket is enough torso protection in all but winter conditions.Oct 19, 2010 at 8:33 am #1655905
I would wear button up shirts if they didn't cost so dang much. now I wear either a lightweight LS baselayber or a short sleeve TNF button up, I like the collar because I carry an slr and the strap sometimes chaffes. I even wear the button up running sometimes for the extra ventilation=D
also, I agree with the others, when it gets cold and windy on the peak, I put on my beenie, or my jacket, the shirt is fine as a baselayer.
also, also, I believe that "button down" refers to the buttons that button down the collar, "button up" refers to the buttons on the chest. someone else can wiki to see if Im' right, not that it matters=)Oct 19, 2010 at 9:42 am #1655920
John RoanBPL Member
Button down shirts are so much more versatile than t-shirts in my opinion. As previously noted, you can roll up the sleeves and un-button when you get hot. You can also button up and roll down the sleeves in shady/downhill sections that are cool.
The reason this works so well for me is that I rarely need to stop and put my jacket on or take it off…it simply stays in my outside mesh pocket in case of rain or on breaks.
With a t-shirt, I find myself adding/removing my jacket often, which interrupts my pace.
Button down all the way for me.
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